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Bishop police continue aiming to combat illegal gambling operations

game room closed.jpg
Posted at 7:05 PM, Apr 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-07 20:07:10-04

BISHOP, Texas — After the Corpus Christi Police Department raided two popular South Side game rooms this week,the issues associated with those types of operations are continuously being discussed and debated throughout Nueces County.

In light of the recent incident, KRIS 6 News is working to follow up with neighboring cities and law enforcement, who said they are continuously working to combat illegal activity.

In September 2022, KRIS 6 News reported that Bishop police shut down on seven game rooms in the city along Highway 77. All of those business were identified as having illegal gaming machines on their property. This was a result of a months-long investigation.

On Friday, the Bishop Police Department made time to discuss the matter. Chief of Police Edward Day said since the day he started his current role, he and the department have been dealing with problems associated with illegal gambling operations.

"We went after them for city ordinance violations. We have a pretty complex city ordinance to regulate these establishments and none of those businesses were on compliance with those." Chief Day said.

Two arrests were made and two firearms were seized on the day of the raid, according to Chief Day. One subject was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and a second subject was arrested on a narcotics related offense. Both individuals were transported to the Nueces County Jail.

Since then four of the seven game room locations are currently open. However, as they remain in operation, law enforcement will keep a watchful eye and an investigation is ongoing.

Chief Day said, participating in the businesses services might sound like fun and games in some establishments, but it could be like rolling the dice at other places.

"When you have somebody that's operating outside the law, you have them attracting other people operating outside the law. So you have drugs and thefts that occur," Day said. "These are often times criminal enterprises being operated by the same folks involved in those other activities."

He said that residents have expressed their concerns about some game rooms suspected of illegal operations. The Bishop Police Department is working to address problems, according to Day.

"We have our own concerns within law enforcement because when they're paying out it's illegal," he said. "If they're not paying out they're not going to have customers. So the business model itself almost suggests they're conducting illegal activity."

"But we have to investigate and it could take a long time for us to get the elements we need to prove a criminal case, to serve a search warrant in order to make arrest. So sometimes it may seem like nothing's being done even though there are investigations going on behind the scenes."

The Bishop Police Department has assistance from several agencies in cracking down on illegal operations, including the Nueces County District Attorney's Office Criminal Interdiction Unit (C.I.U), Nueces Constables Precinct 3, Nueces County Precinct Five Constable, Robstown Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Security Licensing and Regulatory Division.